Chennai: Just weeks after IAS officer Kannan Gopinathan quit the service stating he wanted his freedom of expression back, Deputy Commissioner Sasikant Senthil of Karnataka’s Dakshina Kannada district put in his papers on Friday on somewhat similar note of dissent against the present ruling dispensation. In January, IAS officer Shah Faesal had quit the service in protest against the “unabated” killings in Kashmir and alleging marginalisation of Muslims in India.
Sasikant Senthil in a statement said he had taken the quit decision “as I feel it is unethical for me to continue as a civil servant in the government when the fundamental building blocks of our diverse democracy are being compromised in an unprecedented manner”.
According to sources, the young officer seemed upset and chose to resign due to “strong feelings of alienation from the prevailing systems of governance that discouraged and even stifled dissent in any form”.
Insisting that his decision to leave the IAS had nothing to do with his present stint in Dakshina Kannada an no one was responsible for it, Sasikant said in his statement that he “also feel strongly that the coming days will present extremely difficult challenges to the basic fabric of our nation and that I would be better off outside the IAS to continue with my work at making life better for all”
“It simply cannot be business as usual anymore”, said the officer who hails from Chennai and had done B.Tech (Electrical and Communication) engineering at the National Institute of Technology in Trichy. He had quit a cushy job in a reputed company to bid for the civil services and passed the exam in 2009, topping the Tamil Nadu list and ranking ninth at the national level.
Allotted to Karnataka cadre, he had served with distinction and won accolades as an efficient and honest IAS officer at various places before being posted in the Mines and Geology department from where he was transferred to the present position as Deputy Commissioner of Dakshin Kannada district.
Needless to say Sasikanth’s resignation lit up the social media like the forest fire consuming dry grass. Many complimented him and expressed concern what would happen to the country if such honest officers quit rather than stay and fight the system. Even more posts popped up on twitter slamming him and raising questions about the IAS officers who had committed suicide in the Congress regimes in Karnataka.
With the ping-pong exchanges of abuse and praise by men and women on social media continuing unabated and even picking up heat, the debate over the babus quitting in protest against the ‘stifling’ saffron may take a long time to settle.
In a public letter Senthil said he was resigning for personal reasons but later made it clear he was unhappy with the central government’s policies.
“At this juncture, it is important for me to clarify that this decision is purely personal. It is in no way connected to anyone or any event in my current profile as deputy commissioner of Dakshina Kannada district. I must mention here that the people and public representatives of Dakshina Kannada have been extremely kind to me and I owe an apology to them for discontinuing the job midway,” he said.
“I have taken this decision as I feel it is unethical for me to continue as a civil servant when the fundamental building blocks of our diverse democracy are being compromised in an unprecedented manner. I also feel strongly that the coming days will present extremely difficult challenges to the basic fabric of our nation and that I would be better off outside the IAS to continue with my work at making life better for all. It simply cannot be business as usual anymore,” he said.
Close aides claim Senthil had often expressed differences with government policies but had made it a point to maintain good ties with all seven BJP MLAs in his district and also the B.S. Yediyurappa-led BJP government. He is now on three days leave.
Senthil is from Tamil Nadu and took charge on October 19, 2017, as deputy commissioner of Dakshina Kannada. He had earlier served as assistant commissioner in Ballari; CEO of Shivamogga Zilla Panchayat; deputy commissioner of Chitradurga and Raichur; and functioned as director, mines and geology department.